PwC, Booz & Company ink merger

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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has inked a conditional merger deal with medium-sized consulting firm Booz & Company, in the latest move by the accountancy market's "Big Four" to boost their advisory offerings under flattening auditing revenues.

PwC confirmed the agreement on Thursday, Beijing Time. Neither side disclosed the deal's financial terms.

Booz & Company, with over 3,000 employees, will join PwC's existing advisory arm and enhance the accounting giant's consulting service in 33 countries if the deal gets the nod from Booz & Company's partners in December and passes following regulatory approvals.

Dennis Nally, Chairman of PwC International, said via a press release that the proposed combination would create a stand-out professional services organization that delivers first-class services to a broad range of stakeholders.

"This is another example of the Big Four's extension into the consulting space," said Paul Gillis, professor of practice at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management. Gillis also sits on the Standing Advisory Group of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a U.S. watchdog.

PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst&Young have been bulking up their advisory practices.

"The Big Four abandoned that practice in the early 2000s but are now moving to rebuild the sector," Gillis said, adding that auditing has became a highly competitive and regulated market while consulting could offer great opportunities.

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